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Colorado Multi-tiered System of Supports (CO-MTSS)

Colorado Multi-Tiered System of Supports (CO-MTSS) is defined as a prevention-based framework of team-driven data-based problem solving for improving the outcomes of every student through family, school, and community partnering and a layered continuum of evidence-based practices applied at the classroom, school, LEA, region, and state level. Our mission is to shape, develop, and increase the collective capacity of schools and LEAs to implement and sustain a multi-tiered system of supports through a problem-solving culture that integrates data, practices, and systems to improve educational outcomes for every student.

CO-MTSS includes 5 Essential Components:

  1. Team-Driven Shared Leadership: Teaming structures and expectations to distribute responsibility and shared decision-making across school, LEA, and community members (e.g. students, families, generalists, specialists, and LEA administrators) to organize coordinated systems of training, coaching, resources, implementation, and evaluation for adult activities.
  2. Data-Based Problem Solving and Decision-Making: A consistent process is used by stakeholder teams and applied at multiple levels to analyze and evaluate relevant information to plan and implement strategies that support sustainable improved student and system outcomes.
  3. Family, School, and Community Partnering: The collaboration of families, schools, and communities as active partners in improving learner, classroom, school, LEA, and state outcomes.
  4. Layered Continuum of Supports: Ensuring that every student receives equitable academic and behavioral support that is culturally responsive, matched to need, and developmentally appropriate, through layers that increase in intensity from universal (every student) to targeted (some students) to intensive (few students).
  5. Evidence-Based Practices: Approaches to instruction, intervention, and assessment that have been proven effective through research indicating improved outcomes for students.

Eligible Applicants and Prioritization


Eligible applicants are those who commit to partnering with CDE Implementation Consultants (ICs) to focus on systemic change through professional learning and capacity-building related to CO-MTSS. ICs will be integral to implementation efforts and will work primarily with an MTSS Leadership Team (MLT); in coordination with MLTs, ICs may offer additional support to school teams. The IC support is offered at no cost to the MLT; ICs are employed by CDE, are members of the CO-MTSS team, and will work with CDE partners to provide effective and timely technical assistance.

In order to create sustainable change at the building level, it will be necessary for each MLT to select cohorts of schools (within the LEA, BOCES, or CSI) to actively participate in the grant program. School-level participation will include developing a school-based leadership teaming structure and active engagement in MLT-coordinated professional learning and technical assistance with the support of the CO-MTSS staff.

Available Funds

Funds are available to LEAs for supporting LEA infrastructure. In the first 6 months, $5,000 is available per LEA. Additional funding from $10,000 to $20,000 is available after the initial 6 months, dependent upon LEA size, implementation, and investment in the CO-MTSS work.

Allowable Use of Funds

Funding from this opportunity may be used for reimbursement of activities related to professional development, including training fees, curricula, implementation tools, outcome measurement, time for collaboration, staff stipends, substitute pay to create time for job embedded learning opportunities, or other planned activities. Funding from this opportunity may not be used to purchase food or pay salary.

Note: if accepted into the program, approved applicants will be asked to coordinate with CO-MTSS Staff to develop a budget proposal for program participation.

Funds from this opportunity must be used to supplement and not supplant any federal, state, and local funds currently being used to provide activities. There will be no carryover of funds. Unobligated funds at the end of the fiscal year will be returned to the CDE.


  • November 2017-- January 2018: Meet with grantees to discuss application and next steps
  • January 15, 2018: MLTs will be notified of acceptance by January 15, 2018
  • January 31, 2018: CO-MTSS kick-off event
  • Monthly Meetings Starting in February, 2018: Working to build capacity for systems change within the MLT
  • September, 2018: Second kick-off event to initiate planning for schools
  • Monthly Meetings Starting September 2018: Ongoing technical assistance provided to build effective Personnel Development and Technical Assistance for schools.

Evaluation and Reporting

Because successful implementation of CO-MTSS depends on the use of data to inform decisions, participating MLTs will be expected to use data throughout their implementation efforts. Additionally, data collection and submission to CDE will be expected. The data from participating MLTs and schools includes facilitated submission of relevant aggregated academic, behavioral, implementation, teacher performance, and family partnering data and will be a function of program participation. The MLT and CO-MTSS staff will mutually decide upon, record, and monitor data throughout the project. This may be collected in the form of student outcome data, teacher input data, fidelity data, questionnaires, self-assessments, and participant reflections.

Each MLT will complete and submit the following to CDE each year of the project:

  • Capacity building tools:
    • MLT meeting minutes;
    • MLT Infrastructure Self-Assessment;
    • MLT Long Term Personnel Development Plan;
    • MLT Initiative Inventory; and
    • Aggregated School Short Cycle Action Plans;
  • End of Grant Year Report; and
  • An Annual Financial Report.

Program Assurances

School Leadership Commitments

Participating schools will implement a CO-MTSS Building Leadership Team (BLT). Each BLT will:

  • Provide CDE with evaluation information required by the MLT and CDE;
  • Attend online and face-to-face state-sponsored professional development opportunities;
  • Budget sufficient funds and time to participate in required grant activities; and
  • Exercise leveraging of Title I, IDEA, and other funding sources.


LEA/Administrative Unit Commitments

LEAs will designate an MLT to work with and coordinate with CDE Implementation Consultants (ICs) regarding technical assistance for implementation efforts. The MLT will:

  • Include at least one (preferably multiple) designated executive district leader, who will attend at least 75% of monthly meetings;
  • Attend a full-day, yearly CO-MTSS kickoff in Denver scheduled for January 31, 2018;
  • Attend monthly (3 hour) meetings with the CO-MTSS ICs and other CO-MTSS staff to complete various activities, including infrastructure evaluation, implementation plan development, initiative inventory completion, and professional development planning;
  • Ensure that LEA and building leadership possess the qualifications and have committed the time necessary to accomplish grant activities to lead to student achievement gains;
  • Conduct action planning-related professional development and technical assistance with participating Building Leadership Teams (with the support of CO-MTSS staff);
  • Foster principal leadership in the schools and support leadership growth opportunities;
  • Ensure that funds are being leveraged with other local, state, and federal funds (e.g., Titles I, II, III, V, and IDEA) and that accountability for cost-effective management is provided; and
  • Provide student, school, and MLT-related data to CDE for the CO-MTSS funding opportunity within the time frames specified.

For More Information Contact

Scott Ross, PhD
Send an email to Scott



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